Monsanto Machinery Fleet
You wouldn't necessarily expect a seed and chemical firm to have a combine fleet; however, Monsanto Company uses more than 50 harvesting machines to collect its seed plot data from millions of plots across the U.S. Combines, such as the twin-row New Holland (pictured at right) can simultaneously harvest two plots. On average, the twin-plot combines can harvest a plot in 10 seconds. The high-tech combines can cost up to $500,000 and are outfitted with state-of-the-art data collection tools.
As for putting the plots in, Monsanto employs custom-designed plot planters. The
planters don't require dumping extra seed, switching row spacing or recalibrating for population changes. The plot protocols are laid out and delivered via a computer and GPS mapping.
The company says it is using the equipment for faster translation of research to commercial products. The more field testing the company has done, the higher the rate of success in finding the unique genotypes it is searching for.
What a Day!
- Early Spring 2009